My first day of work in Connecticut was fun. I had been traveling for two days thinking about actually getting to work, and I was happy to finally be in an office. Out of either strong work ethic, or misguided ambition, I was the last person in the office that day. After realizing how much work actually needed to be done to get a new program off the ground – I needed a beer.
One of my co-workers recommended City Steam Brewery to me. It was close to the office, had good beer, and good burgers. I sat down at the bar, and even though it was busy, the bartender took time to talk to me for a little while about places I should visit in Connecticut, what beers from New England to try, and mentioned his mother was the head of the Democratic Party in one of Connecticut’s 169 towns.
This guy was great, but to give a well-rounded picture of the place I should mention that I’ve been there one other time and sat in the dining room – the table service wasn’t up to par with this bar service.
Back to my first time – I ordered a cheese burger & a Blonde on Blonde Pale Ale. I liked the beer – but I had an issue with how it was described versus how it actually tasted (not that it’s bad). It was described as super hoppy and very flavorful. It is – but the hop flavor is a little too straight forward to describe it as super creative.
Another thing that might throw you off about this one is that it looks like it would be relatively light, but it’s certainly heavier than it looks. Overall, this is a good, crisp, straight forward Pale Ale. Bottom line, if someone asked me “what does an IPA taste like?” I would give them a glass of this. If someone asked “Recommend me a new, creative tasting Pale Ale,” this would not be my first choice, but it’s a great go to.
One of the IPAs I didn’t have during this visit, but I like a little more is the Innocence IPA. What I like about this one is the mixture of hops and malt, so it really satisfies everyone. I’ve given this beer to people who say they don’t like IPA, but are fans of rich brown ales, and they seem to be able to tolerate it.
The last beer I want to talk about is a Connecticut classic. You can get it at almost any bar that has a decent selection, including a few spots in the airport. It’s the Naughty Nurse Amber Ale. This is a great standard beer and great for folks just starting to drink craft beer. It has English hops and a light malt flavor that goes down nice and smooth for a creative, but light and accessible taste. This is a must have for anyone coming to Connecticut.
Overall City Steam is a great spot. I’d recommend having a burger if you eat there – and maybe not diving into the rest of the menu. No matter what – you’ll find a beer you like. They also have comedy in their downstairs room on Friday nights. So this is the perfect spot for craft beer & comedy lovers.
More info on City Steam:
Follow on Twitter: @City Steam
More on the Beer: http://www.citysteam.biz/beer_pages/styles_of_beer.cfm